David Hyde Pierce says that his absence from the Frasier reboot wasn’t due to hard feelings — but a busy schedule and a new story to tell that made him decide to pass on the Paramount+ reboot.
The actor, who notably played Niles Crane, the younger brother to Kelsey Grammer‘s Dr. Frasier Crane, opened up about his decision not to return while speaking to the Los Angeles Times about his upcoming role in Julia Child’s series Julia and in the late Stephen Sondheim’s final work, Here We Are.
“I never really wanted to go back,” he told the outlet. “It’s not like I said, ‘Oh, I don’t ever want to do that again.’ I loved every moment. It was that I wanted to do other things.”
Pierce said that by the time the “real talks” about the reboot were in motion, he “had just started on the Julia TV show,” along with work on two separate musicals. “I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this,’” he expressed.
But the Emmy and Tony-winning actor also pointed to another reason for not returning to the role: the show was, in his opinion, ready to move on from his character. “I also thought, ‘They don’t actually need me,’” Pierce recalls. “Frasier has moved on to a new world. They have new characters. And I think I’m right. It’s doing great. And the new people they have are great.”
While Niles is not present in the show, his presence remains. Anders Keith portrays David Crane, Frasier‘s nephew that was born during the original run’s series finale to Niles and Daphne.
In his finale chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Grammer said that the decision by his former castmembers to largely not return (Bebe Neuwirth and Peri Gilpin returned in guest star capacity) ended up shifting the story for the Paramount+ revival.
“I had tried to get everybody back because that’s what I thought was the right and faithful thing to do. I wanted to remain faithful to them,” he said. “But them not wanting to do it was fine. Certainly, their choice. Actually, it led us to some choices that we wouldn’t have done, probably, and I was very happy that we did them. I’m very happy that we ended up in Boston. That never would’ve happened if the rest of the cast had come back.”
While doing press for the finale, Grammer also made news when a BBC interview was allegedly cut short by Paramount+ representatives; the reporter claimed the conversation ended when Grammer mentioned his support for former president Donald Trump.
Over the weekend, Grammer dismissed the interviewer’s claim when speaking to the L.A. Times. “I think he just wanted to incite some sort of a verbal riot. But that didn’t happen,” he said. “We’d already talked for 20 minutes. It was over [and that was the last question]. Yeah. So he wanted to make it a story about himself with people saying ‘it’s over.’” Paramount+ has not commented.